Posts by: mrhadi


28Oct 2021

Texas is a unique state in that on certain stretches of road, you may encounter your typical array of commuter vehicles like sedans and SUVs, but on other stretches, you may encounter a large truck hauling livestock. Texas attorneys assert that every year, thousands of accidents involving animals occur on Texas highways and result in damage, injuries, and even death. To better understand this context, it helps to be familiar with Texas’s history as an open range state, stock law exemptions, stock law considerations, highway exemptions, and legal liability considerations when pursuing legal advice related to automotive accidents caused by animals in Texas.

Open Range State

It may be hard to imagine, but just 150 years ago, Texas was a massive land without fences. Both animals and people could roam from the Gulf Coast through the Great Plains to the Basin with very little standing in their way. Driving down any roadway today, however, passengers will see that the Lone Star State boasts thousands of miles of barbed wire fences. Despite cattle being behind these fences, it is important to note that Texas has largely stayed true to its former self and has evolved to what is considered an open-range state.
Where open-range laws exist, the burden to put up a fence usually falls on the person or property owner who wants to keep animals off of their property. The Texas Supreme Court kept the state’s fence-free legacy intact for the first time more than a century ago. In fact, just 20 years ago, in 1999, the state supreme court refused to adopt a common law requiring livestock owners to keep livestock off of all roadways. While the open-range doctrine was reaffirmed by the Texas Supreme Court just 20 years ago, there are exceptions to this rule. Notably, the two major exceptions in Texas are local stock laws and highways with state or federal designations.

“Stock Law” Exception

In 1876, the Texas Legislature realized that it was impractical to have open range everywhere. As a result, they passed a law that granted counties to hold local stock law elections. A stock law is a specific law that forbids certain kinds of livestock from running through a county or designated area of a county. Stock laws typically serve the purpose of changing an area from open range to closed range. The Texas Agriculture Code permits local governments to hold elections aimed at preventing animals from running at large. Typically, local stock laws will prohibit the following animals from running at large:

  • Horses
  • Mules
  • Donkeys
  • Sheep
  • Goats
  • Jennets
  • Cattle

Stock Law Considerations

Because stock laws can be enacted countywide or in certain precincts or towns, Texas is a patchwork of open-range and closed range laws. In addition, there is no central database of where stock laws have been enacted. If you are driving in unfamiliar territory, you may be unsure of your rights in the event of a livestock crash. One way to find out is to contact a county clerk. Additionally, in some cases stock laws are unenforceable. The Texas Agriculture Code provides very specific rules on how stock laws can appear on a ballot. The code separates livestock animals into different subsections. When a local government enacts stock laws, it must ensure that the animals in different subsections are not combined on the ballot. In order for a stock law to be valid, the livestock on a ballot should come from the same subchapter in the Texas Agriculture code.

Highway Exemption

People who live in urban areas may not have a clue that Texas is an open-range state. In fact, many people don’t think to watch out for livestock while driving on high-speed Texas highways, which are more traveled and carry a much higher speed than farm-to-market roads. As such, requiring a person to control their livestock if their property is adjacent to a highway is in the interest of public safety. By law, owners have a responsibility to keep livestock from roaming on state and federal highways. Otherwise, owners may face a small fine. Further, when livestock owners fail to meet this duty, they open themselves up to liability claims when a person suffers an injury. The law prohibits the following animals from roaming freely along highways:

  • Horses
  • Mules
  • Donkeys
  • Cows
  • Bulls
  • Steer
  • Hogs
  • Sheep
  • Goats
Because of the state and federal highway and local stock law exemptions, landowners have a responsibility to keep cattle confined when the circumstances require it. The Texas Agriculture code states that a “person who owns or has responsibility for the control” of livestock “may not knowingly permit the animal to traverse or roam at large, unattended on the right-of-way of a highway.” Texas courts define that a landowner may act knowingly when:
  • The landowner was aware that the fences were unable to withstand inclement weather.
  • The landowner knew that cattle escaped through weak fences many times before.
  • Police previously informed the property owner of their loose cattle on the roadway.
  • The landowner failed to inspect fences.

Determining Liability

Determining whether livestock owners are liable for injuries from accidents caused by livestock can be challenging. While legal precedent on the issue may exist in some jurisdictions, other areas do not have court rulings making it possible for car accident attorneys to prove liability. A fine line of liability may exist given state laws and local ordinances which are often very fact-specific. Given the complexity of the application of laws and ordinances, Texas attorneys agree that anyone injured in an accident involving livestock should seek the services of car accident lawyers who are familiar with open range and stock laws. These two laws vary by county and dictate liability if an accident occurs. Who is responsible for the injuries sustained and the damage to the vehicle? That all depends where the accident occurred and which laws or statutes were in force at that location.

  1. If the location of the accident was a farm-to-market (FM) road where no stock laws were in existence, the open range rule of common law would mean that the owner of the animal would not be subject to any liability in the accident.
  2. If the location of the accident was a state or federal highway, it’s possible the animal owner could be held liable if it is determined they knowingly permitted the animal to run free on the roadway. It wouldn’t matter if there was a local stock law in effect or not.
  3. If the accident took place on a farm-to-market road where there was a stock law in effect, the stock law would determine whether there was any liability on the part of the livestock owner. Since there are differences in each local stock law, there would be a need to review the exact provisions that apply in the location where the accident happened.

Attorney Assistance

Texas has more than 80,000 miles of highway, and nearly 30,000 of that is US and state highways. It is important to understand that you have rights after any kind of crash—including those involving livestock. A qualified roaming livestock crash attorney can help you determine the following questions:

  • Does a stock law exist in the area of my crash?
  • What animals are covered by the local stock law?
  • Does the property permit the animals to run at large?
If you suffered injuries or a loved one was killed after a livestock crash, contact a qualified attorney to help you determine your rights. The Hadi Law Firm has extensive experience fighting for justice and protecting your rights. We can help you determine the next step in your recovery and get you the compensation you deserve.

22Oct 2021

Unfortunately, truck accidents are more common than you’d expect and the financial impact can be tremendous for victims. It’s important to know your rights after a truck accident and the ways insurance companies try to avoid liability. The simple answer is trucking companies in Texas are required to have insurance coverage. The term “full coverage” does not exist. Instead, full coverage refers to a combination of coverages to protect a motor vehicle. The answer becomes more complicated because Texas trucking companies must abide by state and/or federal insurance laws. The questions to consider involve minimum coverage requirements, intrastate and interstate transport, commercial insurance coverage, insurance payouts and the recent House 19 Bill involving commercial motor vehicles.

Learn about Truck Accident Risk Management and Safety Tips here.

Minimum Coverage

Trucking companies, known as motor carriers, are required by Texas law to file proof of commercial automobile liability insurance for each registered vehicle. The insurance requirements for truck drivers and trucking companies ensure they are covered in the event of a serious accident or injury. In Texas, trucking insurance providers will ask three key questions to help determine the most appropriate truck insurance and liability limits:

  • How much does the truck weigh?
  • Where will the truck travel?
  • What will the truck transport?

All drivers, including commercial drivers, must carry at least the following coverage:

  • $30,000 bodily injury coverage per injured person
  • $60,000 bodily injury coverage total per accident
  • $25,000 property damage liability coverage

If the operator fails to provide proper proof of insurance, an investigation could follow. This investigation can include:

  • Inspection of the all company trucks
  • Inspection of all company vehicles
  • Audit of all vehicle and driving records

Intrastate and Interstate Transport

The amount of truck insurance for intrastate is set by the Texas Department of Insurance (TDI). It sets the minimum amount of commercial insurance coverage at $500,000. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) sets the laws regarding how much coverage is needed by a Texas trucking company. The amount of coverage depends on the weight of the commercial truck and type of materials they transport.

  • $750,000 in coverage when carrying nonhazardous materials and weighing more than 10,001 pounds.
  • $1 million for trucks transporting oil, hopper-type vehicles or cargo from or to Texas to another state.
  • $5 million for trucks carrying hazardous materials.
FMCSA requires that all commercial trucks under its auspices prove financial responsibility by one of the following methods:

  • Purchase liability insurance

  • Purchase a surety bond

FMCSA also requires that proof of insurance be kept in two places; in the vehicle itself and in the carrier’s office. These documents can serve as proof of insurance:
  • Form MCS-90 – Proof of insurance issued by the carrier

  • Form MCS–82 – Proof of an existing surety bond

Commercial Insurance Coverage

In addition to the minimum insurance a trucking company must carry, it can obtain additional insurance coverage. The four main types of commercial insurance coverage are:

  1. General Liability Insurance:

    The minimum coverage requirement.

  2. Extended Liability Insurance:

    Offers more than the minimum coverage.

  3. Eroding Policy:

    Allows trucking companies to subtract cost of defense from coverage.

  4. Self-Insured Retention Policy:

    Adds $250,000 to trucking company insurance policy.

Trucking companies must also have accidental insurance coverage or workers’ compensation coverage for their employees. Coverage must be at least:
  • $300,000 for medical expenses for a minimum of 104 weeks
  • $100,000 for accidental death and dismemberment, including 70 percent of an employee’s pre-injury income for at least 104 weeks when compensating for loss of income
  • $500 maximum weekly benefit

Insurance Payouts

Negligence is the legal term to describe who was responsible for a truck accident. This means proving the trucking company or its driver failed to act as a responsible person would and cause the accident. Proving negligence, or fault, requires your attorney showing you were a victim, how the accident occurred and why you deserve money. In Texas, several elements are used to help prove your case:

  • The driver or trucking company owed you a legal duty. This legal duty was to protect you from harm. This means they were legally responsible for ensuring your safety while the truck was on the road.
  • The driver or trucking company breached their legal duty by causing the truck accident.
  • The actions or inactions of the driver or trucking company led to your injuries that occurred in the accident.
  • You deserve money to cover your bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.

House Bill 19

The Texas legislature has passed House Bill 19, a law that will impact lawsuits involving commercial motor vehicles commenced after September 1, 2021. The bill defines “commercial motor vehicles” as vehicles being used “for commercial purposes in interstate or intrastate commerce to transport property or passengers . . . .” The bill applies not only to 18-wheelers, but also to Uber and Lyft vehicles, delivery trucks and any other vehicle being used for commercial purposes.
Under the law, an owner or operator may move to bifurcate (or separate) the trial of claims against an employer defendant relating to a commercial motor vehicle accident predicated upon the liability of the employee (i.e., negligent entrustment) and otherwise concerning a demand for both compensatory and exemplary damages.
Overall, the law provides commercial motor carriers and their counsel a multitude of new procedures and considerations to limit the admissibility of highly prejudicial evidence and causes of action at the time of trial. This makes it more important to work with an experienced attorney familiar with the tactics of commercial carriers and insurance companies to deny your rightful reimbursement.

Your Texas Truck Accident Attorney

Trucking companies must have insurance for their vehicle to be on the roadways. That does not mean they are willing to pay if they are responsible for injuring you. Contact the Texas truck accident attorney about your case. We offer a free case evaluation. You have the right to receive money for your injuries regardless of the type of insurance coverage the trucking company has.

2Sep 2021

If you are a native to Houston or have lived here for years, it will not surprise you to learn the city’s traffic is getting worse. Houston consistently ranks as a growing city. It is popular for its well-paying jobs and relatively low cost of living. Unfortunately, that means there are a lot of people trying to get to and from work each day, leading to congestion, delays, and accidents. It is only natural then that Houston traffic apps have become the saving grace for commuters.

Various apps offer real-time information about delays, enabling you to choose the safest and fastest route through traffic. Yet as an experienced commuter, you know there may come a time that you are in an accident. It does not matter how much you check the traffic and avoid congestion or construction — other people’s negligence behind the wheel can cost you time, energy, and health. An understanding of the traffic app ecosystem, issues with interoperability, as well as the long-game toward enhancing the technology ecosystem via public-private partnerships helps us contextualize the future roadmap of traffic mobility solutions.

App Ecosystem

Today, traffic jams are popping up unexpectedly in previously quiet neighborhoods around the country and the world. The problem began when smartphone apps like Waze, Apple Maps, and Google Maps came into widespread use, offering drivers real-time routing around traffic tie-ups. An estimated 1 billion drivers worldwide use such apps. And the problem is getting worse. City planners around the world have predicted traffic on the basis of residential density, anticipating that a certain amount of real-time changes will be necessary in particular circumstances.

Here’s how the apps evolved. When navigation capabilities moved to apps on smartphones, the navigation system providers began collecting travel speeds and locations from all the users who were willing to let the app share their information. Originally, the system providers used these GPS traces as historical data in algorithms designed to estimate realistic speeds on the roads at different times of day. They integrated these estimates with the maps, identifying red, yellow, and green routes—where red meant likely congestion and green meant unrestricted flow.

As the historical records of these GPS traces grew and the coverage and bandwidth of the cellular networks improved, developers started providing traffic information to users in nearly real time. Estimates were quite accurate for the more popular apps, which had the most drivers in a particular region. And then, around 2013, Here Technologies, TomTom, Waze, and Google went beyond just flagging traffic jams ahead. They began offering real-time rerouting suggestions, considering current traffic on top of the characteristics of the road network. That gave their users opportunities to get around traffic slowdowns, and that’s how the chaos began.

Platform Interoperability

Now online navigation apps are in charge, and they’re causing more problems than they solve. The apps are typically optimized to keep an individual driver’s travel time as short as possible; they don’t care whether the residential streets can absorb the traffic or whether motorists who show up in unexpected places may compromise safety.

On its face, real-time rerouting isn’t a problem. Cities do it all the time by changing the signal, phase, and timing of traffic lights or flashing detour alerts on signs. The real problem is that the traffic management apps are not working with existing urban infrastructures to move the most traffic in the most efficient way. To compound the “selfish routing” problem, each navigation application provider—Google, Apple, Waze (now owned by Google)—operates independently.

Each provider receives data streamed to its servers only from the devices of its users, which means that the penetration of its app colors the system’s understanding of reality. If the app’s penetration is low, the system may fall back on historical traffic speeds for the area instead of getting a good representation of existing congestion. So we have multiple players working independently with imperfect information and expecting that the entire road network is available to absorb their users in real time.

The Long Game

We may have recently benefited from these shortcuts, but it’s doubtful that we’re winning the long game. To do that takes thinking about the system as a whole and perhaps even considering aggregate fuel consumption and emissions. Only then can we use these rerouting algorithms for the benefit of all citizens and our environment. What we really want is a socially optimum state in which the average travel time is minimized everywhere.. How do we merge the app-following crowds with an engineered flow of traffic that at least moves toward a socially optimized system, using the control mechanisms we have on hand?

We can begin by pooling everyone’s view of the real-time state of the road network. But getting everybody in the data pool won’t be easy—some players like Google and Apple have massive back-office digital infrastructures to run these operations, while many cities have minimal funding for advanced technology development. Without the ability to invest in new technology, cities can’t catch up with these big technology providers and instead fall back on regulations, such as lowering the speed limits on residential streets.

Public-Private Partnerships

The real challenge with traffic control is the enormous scale of the problem. Using the flood of data from app users along with the data from city sensors will require a new layer of data analytics that takes the key information and combines it, anonymizes it, and puts it in a form that can be more easily digested by government-operated traffic management systems.

Solving both the technical and non-technical issues will require research and public-private partnerships before we can assemble this cooperative ecosystem. We must convince the app makers that if they share information with one another and with city governments, the rerouting algorithms could consider a far bigger picture, including information from the physical infrastructure, such as the timing schedule for traffic lights and meters and vehicle counts from static sensors, including cameras and inductive loops.

This data sharing would make their apps better while simultaneously giving city traffic planners a helping hand. As a first step, we should form public-private partnerships among the navigation app providers, city traffic engineering organizations, and even transportation companies like Uber and Lyft. Sharing all this information would help us figure out how to best reduce congestion and manage our mobility. If you happen to be in a car accident due to such conditions, do not hesitate to reach out to our car accident lawyers at The Hadi Law Firm. We have years of experience helping individuals recover the maximum compensation for their injuries through insurance settlements or winning personal injury claims in court.

HOUSTON TRAFFIC APPS

29Jun 2021

Trucking has played a major role in supporting American economic expansion and ensuring consistent supply chains for American businesses for decades. Unfortunately, as the number of large trucks on America’s roadways increases, so too do the risks from truck accidents that occur each year. Even when truck drivers make mistakes, act recklessly, or have negligent employers, there are truck accident prevention steps you can take to stay farther out of harm’s way. Knowing when the risks are greatest and how to avoid them can increase the chances of you and your family making it to where you want to be safely and reliably. People who want to stay safe on the road around trucks — even reckless ones — can use the following safety tips for truck accident prevention in light of a typical range of injuries that can be mitigated by crashworthiness tests yet are hedged by trucking insurance requirements that can be leveraged by expert advice from our experienced truck accident lawyers.

5. Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR): Centered on the need to eliminate drunk driving and underage drinking altogether. The organization currently has a presence in all fifty states as well as the nation’s capital. Currently, the organization meets these aforementioned goals through educational resources, which are available on the site as well as through various social media platforms. In addition, the organization also offers countless research considerations and opens up a dialogue so that students and adults alike can be more responsible when it comes to drinking.

  1. Allow Enough Time
    • Due to a truck’s size, a driver’s reactions won’t translate as quickly as they would in a car. Lane changes, turns, and stops need to be performed with more than enough time with a truck driver to react accordingly. You should never merge in front or behind a truck suddenly or make a risky turn in front of an oncoming truck. If you do not give a truck driver ample time to react, you could be putting both your and their safety at risk.
  2. Avoid Blind Spots
    • Semi-trucks essentially have four blind spots, which are located in the front, the back, and on either side of the truck. There’s a reason why these spots are actually referred to as “no man’s land” — they’re very expansive and extremely dangerous. The blind spots on either side of a truck can actually extend across several highway lanes and further back than you’ll find with a regular car.
  3. Be Patient
    • It’s easy to become anxious when you’re driving near a truck, particularly when you’re on a busy highway. But you must remember to exercise patience and refrain from rash behavior. You may simply want to get out of the situation, but erratic driving behaviors will likely make things a lot worse. Pay attention and realize that the 10 seconds you might save by making a risky move won’t be worth the damage it could cause.
  4. Rest
    • A well-rested driver is a safer driver. Pull over to take naps if needed, and make sure to get a full night’s rest before driving. Knowing your limits is key, don’t push yourself past your driving capabilities, your life and the lives of other drivers is more important.
  5. Watch Your Speed
    • Always drive the speed limit, do not risk causing an accident just to get to your location faster. If an accident occurs because you’re speeding, you will end up being more behind than you would have been had you gone the speed limit to begin with.
  6. Pay Attention to the Weather
    • Don’t push your luck when it comes to the weather, accidents during poor road conditions can be that much more dangerous.
  7. Inspect Your Vehicle
    • Make sure that your commercial truck is properly maintained and well inspected before beginning your journey.
  8. Avoid Distractions
    • Keeping distractions to a minimum is key to not causing an accident. Don’t use your cell phone, wear ear buds, or eat while driving. These are all things that can be done during a break. If you need to listen to music, try to choose one channel until you are stopped.
  9. Use Turn Signals
    • Make sure that you’re using turn signals when changing lanes and give the vehicles behind you optimal time to move out of the way before switching lanes. Check mirrors thoroughly before making the lane switch along with blind spots.
  10. Beware of Problem Drivers
    • Just because you’re following the rules of the road doesn’t mean everyone else will be. Watch out for other drivers who appear to be drifting in between lanes or swerving. More than likely these drivers are not paying attention to the road and extra caution should be taken to make sure an accident doesn’t occur.

Types of Injuries from Truck Accidents

Because accidents involving large trucks can often be devastating to people traveling in passenger vehicles, trucking accidents cause a wide variety of traumatic injuries. Some of the injuries commonly caused by trucking accidents include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Head trauma
  • Concussions
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Internal injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Internal bleeding
  • Broken bones
  • Scars and disfigurement
  • Paralysis Nerve damage
  • Whiplash Neck injuries
  • Dislocated or amputated limbs
  • Cuts, bruises, and abrasions

Crashworthiness

As the number of motor vehicles on America’s roadways increases, a certain number of accidents will inevitably occur; accordingly, involvement in a crash is largely considered part of the normal and expected use of a vehicle, rather than an extraordinary event. Because of this, most states require vehicles to meet certain crashworthiness standards. The term crashworthiness refers to a vehicle’s ability to protect its passengers in the event of a collision; each vehicle is manufactured with certain crashworthiness features designed to help minimize the effects of vehicular accidents on the people within, even during an accident involving a large truck. When these safety features do not function properly or a vehicle is not up to crashworthiness standards, a wrongful death or traumatic injury can result from a trucking accident that otherwise might have been far less damaging.

Crashworthiness Testing

Several types of tests are performed to assess a vehicle’s crashworthiness. These tests typically involve placing crash test dummies in a vehicle and replicating representative crash situations to evaluate the vehicle’s ability to protect passengers from damage. Crashworthiness tests frequently performed include:

  1. Frontal Impact
    • Involves driving a vehicle into a solid wall or stationary vehicle to evaluate the effects of a head-on collision.
  2. Offset
    • Similar to frontal impact crashworthiness tests; however, the area of impact is offset so that only a portion of the front of the car impacts another vehicle.
  3. Side Impact
    • Evaluates the ability of a vehicle to protect passengers from side impact collisions, such as often occur at intersections.
  4. Rollover
    • Measures a vehicle’s ability to support itself and protect passengers when turned upside-down or on its side, and is frequently performed on sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

Defective Crashworthiness Features

Vehicles manufactured for sale in the United States are required to have a number of standard crashworthiness features to protect passengers’ safety. However, these safety features can be vulnerable to manufacturing and design defects which reduce crashworthiness. Among the automotive defects which may be found to be detrimental to a vehicle’s crashworthiness are the following:

  • Malfunctioning airbags
  • Insufficiently supported roof
  • Improperly placed or poorly welded fuel tanks
  • Ripped or otherwise damaged seat belts
  • Malfunctioning seat belt latches or retractors
  • Seat backs that crumple upon impact
  • Doors that spring open upon impact

Trucking Insurance Requirements

Because most large trucks are operated as commercial vehicles, they are subject to a different set of insurance requirements than typical automobiles. Federal regulations currently require that all commercial freight vehicles carry liability coverage to compensate for the heightened risk of injury in collisions involving this type of vehicle. Additionally, vehicles which carry certain types of hazardous materials are required to carry liability insurance or a bond for public liability or property damage. Furthermore, each state has its own set of additional insurance rules and regulations that may surpass the federally-mandated minimums.

The Need for Expert Advice

Many lawyers incorrectly believe that handling a case involving a tractor trailer accident is the same as handling a case involving an automobile accident, but nothing could be further from the truth. Trucking accidents are very different in many ways from accidents which involve automobiles alone: hundreds of state and federal regulations govern the ownership and leasing, insurance, operation, repair, maintenance, loading, and use of commercial vehicles.

In addition, there are regulations to address recurring problems such as hours of service violations, driver training and supervision, drug and alcohol testing, improper loading, and hundreds of other issues. Defense lawyers and insurance companies fiercely litigate tractor trailer accident cases, and they know the laws inside and out. It is imperative that your attorney have exceptional experience and training to protect your rights.

Call an Experienced Truck Accident Lawyer

After a truck crash, seek any necessary medical treatment first and foremost. Then, it is important that you contact a truck accident lawyer as soon as possible. Once hired, our experienced truck crash attorneys at The Hadi Law Firm will preserve vital pieces of evidence, secure the scene of a tractor trailer crash, and take necessary photographs and witness statements. This is critical because evidence can be lost, misplaced or purposely destroyed by the trucking companies. The preservation of that evidence is crucial to proving liability in the collision.

If you or a close family member has been hurt, you have the legal right to pursue a personal injury claim against all at-fault parties. “At-fault parties” can include a truck driver, their employer, a negligent maintenance company, or someone else on the road who caused a wreck. The Hadi Law Firm can represent your case and help you file a strong claim for all of your accident damages. We gather evidence for you and investigate fault to identify all potentially liable parties. We negotiate with insurers on your behalf. If we cannot reach a fair settlement agreement, we have the ability to help you recover your damages in court. Find out about your legal options and the next best steps you can take to pursue compensation when you contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation case review now.

7Oct 2020

If there’s one thing you should know after a car accident it’s that your insurance company is NOT on your side. Whether you’ve been severely injured or your car has been totaled, insurance companies, like Geico, have an arsenal of strategies to decrease or flat out deny your claim. In most cases, the denial letter for your claim is just the first step in their negotiation process. We were always told, “Hadi Law, you won’t change the insurance companies,” Until August 28, 2020.

The Hadi Law Firm recently initiated and assisted in a case against one of the largest insurance companies in America; Geico. Geico failed to pay claims to their client in a timely manner and when they did pay they neglected to pay the interest on late payments. We uncovered over 10000 first-party claims that were mishandled by GEICO. In many cases, although they knew there was coverage and the Insured was entitled to compensation, the case was closed. After a long investigation through the Texas Department of Insurance, Geico was forced to pay out $2,178,963 in claims and interests. They also had to pay a 3,000,000.00 administrative penalty, and Change their entire Claims Handling Process; Nationwide.

The Hadi Law Firm forced Geico to change its unethical practices. After this case, Geico had to implement systems, monitoring, process changes, and hired compliance personnel to address these allegations. The Hadi Law Firm has been fighting these large insurance companies since 2009.

Read more on GEICO at www.DontTrustTheGecko.com. Don’t let the insurance companies take advantage of you. Give The Hadi Law Firm a call today and let us fight for you.


CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE (TDI) ORDER A AGAINST GEICO.

 

16Sep 2020

Amazon has revolutionized how we buy goods on the internet. Just a few years back it would take a week or two for us to get our perfect sweater or that new iPhone. Today you can have your order in your hands the same day you ordered it. A few clicks from the comfort of your home and you can have whatever your heart desires the same day. Amazon’s gigantic selection of products and unrivaled delivery time definitely has its pros but an important question we should ask ourselves is how is all this possible. How does Amazon offer what we would have said is impossible a few years ago and still remain a viable business model? It’s called a “Hiring Frenzy.”

A major aspect of Amazons processes is the delivery drivers that get your product to you. Mostly, in part to its rapid growth, Amazon oftentimes acquires the services of independent contractors. Amazon’s drivers have full access to private customer information and are in constant contact with Amazon’s customers. You would think any job with so many sensitive functions has a strict and clear vetting system. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case with Amazon’s delivery drivers. This doesn’t necessarily mean that every driver is not hard-working or that some individuals with criminal records don’t deserve a second chance but it’s important to understand the need for organizations to vet all working personnel; especially when it pertains to your personal home and life.

The horror stories of Amazon’s drivers are increasing daily. You’ve probably heard stories of frustrated, overworked drivers like 22-year-old, Derick Lancaster, who quit and left his truck full of packages at a gas station.

Ironically, there is a website devoted to Hiring Felons, that consider’ Amazon a good place to start when looking for a career as a felon.

The Hadi Law Firm is currently handling a case against Kirkland Demouchet, a dangerous member of the Gremlin Gang in Abbeville, Louisiana, was indicted on charges of Racketeering, Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering, and Engaging in a Criminal Street Gang. Demouchet is represented by AKERMAN, who has done a great job of hiding him through the entire 19 month litigation process. We suspect they have no idea where he is and are posturing to intimidate the firm. Kirkland Demouchet delivered for Amazon through Teal Logistics, LLC. Teal Logistics is just one of Amazon’s many contractors who were obviously not properly vetted by Amazon; let alone prepared and organized to work with Amazon. Every business has its bad employees but it seems like this has become a trend with Amazon’s delivery drivers. No matter how large a corporation, Amazon, like every other business, needs to be held accountable for its negligence and endangering people’s lives. Kirkland Demouchet currently has an open Failure to Appear charge for a weapons arrest pending. If and when he presents for his deposition, he will be arrested.

What’s worse is that Amazon seems to turn a blind eye to the plight of its own customers. When Will Brown’s Amazon packages were stolen by the driver delivering them, Amazon sided with its driver asking Brown “How do you know it’s our driver?” Brown found video evidence of the theft and the Philadelphia police are currently investigating. Amazon was quick to point out that the driver is a contractor and not a direct employee, but businesses are responsible for vetting their contractors just as they are for their employees.

Amazon’s lack of vetting practices and refusal of accountability puts its own customers in peril. Want to read more Amazon horror stories? Check out the links below.

https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-delivery-drivers-reveal-claims-of-disturbing-work-conditions-2018-8
https://www.forbes.com/sites/brittainladd/2018/09/13/hell-on-wheels-what-its-like-to-be-a-delivery-driver-for-amazon/#34fa6927219a
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/amazon-drivers-part-10-million-theft-ring-fbi-says-n1038421
Sources
https://www.businessinsider.com/amazon-driver-quits-tweet-leaves-delivery-van-at-gas-station-2020
https://kpel965.com/monday-night-shootings-in-abbeville-thought-be-linked/
https://archive.vermiliontoday.com/local/another-alleged-gremlin-arrested
https://6abc.com/amazon-delivery-driver-online-shopping-steals-packages/5836562/

24Jul 2020

The term “good samaritan” originates from a parable from the Bible. The story is about a man which they call a Samaritan (resident of Samaria), who stopped to help a man who had been robbed and injured while even the Priest and the Levite passed by and simply ignored him. It basically tells us a lesson on how we should “love our neighbors as we love ourselves”.

The Texas Good Samaritan law protects good Samaritans from costly claims of negligence in the event that they provided emergency assistance to another individual involved in an emergency situation. This law also promotes an overall helpful disposition for the citizens to care and protect one another from further injury.

Good samaritans have the best intentions when responding to an accident or emergency situation. Unfortunately in some high-stakes and high-pressure situations these individuals may make some mistakes due to confusion, panic and the survival mindset. The Good Samaritan Law protects these individuals when these unfortunate mistakes are made.

The Good Samaritan Law applies to civilians, first responders and unlicensed medical personnel who act in good faith.

The Good Samaritan Law does not protect individuals whose motive was only to help someone with the intention of receiving a reward.

Car accidents are a common example. A bystander at the accident scene may try to help the driver by pulling him out of a totaled vehicle and may injure him in the process of removing him from the vehicle.

Unfortunately, it’s not unusual to sustain additional injuries during this process. Without the Good Samaritan law, the driver might sue the good samaritan for additional injuries or negligence, even if the person was only trying to help.

Another example could be an injured driver in a single-car accident who will accuse a Good Samaritan of causing their injury. This can happen when he needs someone to blame so he can get compensation for his injury, even if he is fully aware that the accident is his own fault.

Texas Good Samaritan Law Exceptions


Willful or Wanton Conduct

This protection does not apply if the person was negligent or reckless when offering aid in any kind of emergency situation.

Expectation of Remuneration

This protection does not apply if the person or medical professional offered service while expecting to be paid or solicited business at the scene of the emergency.

Medical Professionals

This protection does not apply to a person who works in the care industry, the hospital or the emergency room.

Including, a treating physician or admitting physician of a patient with a health-care liability claim.

Cause of Harm

This protection does not extend to a person who was responsible for causing an emergency situation. For example, if a driver crashed with another vehicle and then rendered aid to the other driver, he or she could still be held liable for damages that resulted from lending aid.

Good Samaritan 911 call

A fraudulent or misleading call to the police can potentially lead a person to civil liability.

Good Samaritan Law for CPR

A person can face liability if he or she performed unnecessary emergency CPR on the victim.

9Jul 2020

Accidents happen when you least expect them. Whether it’s a car accident, workplace accident or even medical malpractice, a major accident can have major physical and mental effects on your everyday life.

If you or a loved one was the victim of an accident, knowing your rights can dramatically improve the road to your recovery.

What is Personal Injury Law?

Personal Injury Law pertains to a person who suffers an injury due to another person’s negligence or wrongful conduct. Personal Injury Law enables victims to get the justice they deserve by allowing them to claim compensation for damages from the person proven accountable for the accident.

Types of Personal Injury Laws in Texas:

  • Car accidents
  • Truck accidents
  • Motorcycle accidents
  • Wrongful death
  • Premises liability
  • Product liability
  • Medical malpractice
  • Dog bites

Where should I start?

Seek legal assistance.

To get the full compensation you deserve it’s important to have a seasoned personal injury lawyer. Each personal injury case is different and the laws vary depending on the nature of your accident and the state you were in when they occurred. It is extremely advantageous to hire a personal injury lawyer who has a complete and extensive understanding of the specific laws that apply to your case.

Keep in mind that it is always in your best interest to hire and file your case as soon as possible. In Texas, you have 6 months to 2 years (depending on your case) from the date of your accident to file a lawsuit.

Most experienced personal injury attorneys will advise you on the proper timeline on filing your claim. This will give you, your doctor and your lawyer time to fully assess the damages.

Once you have found your lawyer, the investigation will begin.

What do I need?

You’ll need to provide as much documentation and relevant information relevant to your accident.

Common documents:

  • Photo and videos of the accident and injury
  • Police report
  • Medical report
  • Hospital bills and medical receipts
  • Pay stubs
  • Information gathered during the incident (parties involved and eye witness contact information)

Your attorney will conduct an investigation to determine how much each party is at fault.

Texas uses fault percentage commonly referred to as “proportionate responsibility” which states if a person is partially to blame, they can be held liable for the amount of damages proportionate to their fault.

However, Texas also follows the 51% bar rule. This means you are eligible for compensation when you are 50% below at fault. If you are 51% or more at fault for your accident you may not receive any compensation.

How much can I claim?

Damages are not exclusive to physical injury or property damage. Your claim amount can also depend on the nature, severity of your accident and how it affects your and your families lives. These are just some of the other factors considered when calculating the correct claim amount.

The 3 types of damages under Personal Injury:

Economic Damages

The cost of these damages are relatively easy to quantify. It pertains to medical expenses, lost wages for missing work, lost capacity to earn, and property damages. It can be proven using documents, receipts and current prices in the market.

Non-Economic Damages

The cost of these damages are subjective and difficult to quantify because it has no monetary value. These types of damages include the physical, mental and emotional pain you have suffered from the injury.

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional pain
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of ability to have sexual relations (consortium)
  • General inconvenience

There are currently no caps on non-economic damages in Texas, except in medical malpractice cases.

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are also called exemplary damages because it aims to carry out a message that bad behavior will be punishable by law. There must first be actual economic and non-economic damages before we calculate punitive damages. You also need to prove that the cause of the accident was due to gross negligence, fraud or malice to justify additional punishment and you must be able to convince all of the 12 jurors to agree. However, in Texas, you’re limited to an amount between $200,000 and $750,000, depending on the actual economic damages determined by the jury.

What happens next?

After the investigation, your personal injury lawyer will begin negotiations for your settlement with the insurance company.

Most people with personal injury lawsuits prefer to achieve a financial settlement without going to trial. This saves both time, money and removes the heavy burden of a lengthy trial. In the event that the insurance company does not want to negotiate and agree with your claim, your case will go to trial.

9Jun 2020

When evaluating a personal injury claim, insurance adjusters routinely look at your medical records. One of the first things they look for are “gaps in treatment.” In the insurance industry, a “gap in treatment” is a term that means that your medical records show a gap or break in seeking medical attention for injuries that were caused by an accident or incident. A gap in treatment can mean you did not seek medical attention immediately after the accident. It could also mean that you did seek medical attention immediately after the collision, but at some point after you began your medical treatment, there was a significant period of time wherein you did not seek/receive medical treatment.

The insurance industry uses “gaps in treatment” to discount your medical treatment. To an insurance adjuster, a gap in treatment means you did not need medical care or that you weren’t in pain. In the real world, though, we all know that there are many different reasons why someone would not seek immediate medical attention or allow a significant amount of time to pass between doctor visits. Some people don’t have the medical insurance or money to pay for treatment. Others may not be able to take off of work for doctor visits or may have recently relocated to a new city where they have more limited treatment options.

A gap in medical treatment has never been a valid reason to discount someone’s medical treatment, but the events of the past three months have further discredited that point of view. The COVID-19 pandemic began shutting down a multitude of business worldwide in early March, including many healthcare facilities. As of the date of this article, many healthcare facilities continue to be either closed or operating at a reduced capacity. Sadly, some have been shut down altogether.

As a result, if you needed medical treatment in the past three months, it is highly probable that your medical provider was not able to see you for treatment for a period of time. In fact, given the priority that was given to COVID-19 patients and the burden that those patients placed on many facilities across the world, even those who were in need of emergency medical care were at times not able to receive treatment in some areas. Furthermore, some people undoubtedly decided that even though they were in pain and had access to a healthcare provider, seeking treatment was not a good idea because of the increased risk of exposing themselves to COVID-19, and certainly no one would fault them for that decision.

So, in light of the recent dynamics of COVID-19, how can the insurance industry continue to use “gaps in treatment” as a basis for discounting, and in some cases, denying claims? The prudent insurance carriers will not continue to do so, because they realize that the world has changed, including how people are forced to deal with their injuries and receive treatment. The imprudent insurance carriers, though, will continue to robotically chant “gaps in treatment” in evaluating their claims, but when those claims become lawsuits, they will soon find a jury made up of six or twelve human beings who have all been through the events of COVD-19 and who will judge those insurance companies harshly for continuing to make the same old “gaps in treatment” argument.

Are you having issues with contacting a medical provider or seeking treatment following a motor vehicle crash? Give our office a call today and make a free appointment to speak with one of our Car Crash Specialist.